Artforum International

An international contemporary art magazine covering sculpture, painting, mixed media, and installation works, as well as architecture, music, and popular culture. Includes artist interviews and reviews of individual artists and/or galleries; reviews of fi

Articles from Vol. 38, No. 6, February

Alighiero E Boetti
WHITECHAPEL ART GALLERY, LONDON Generally, the most basic fact about an artistic activity or object is the distinction between it and whatever is not art. But in his artmaking, Alighiero e Boetti (1940-1994) was continually demonstrating that he...
Allan Wexler
CONTEMPORARY ARTS CENTER There is a deceptive modesty about Allan Wexler's work, seen here in a survey covering twenty-five years of the artist's career. He has long laid claim to the diminutive with his Lilliputian-like objects, and he has confined...
Art and the Deal
ASK ANYBODY ABOUT THE LEGACY of Konrad Fischer's Dusseldorf gallery and you'll get a laudatory earful. "He was a genius," Carl Andre tells me over the phone. "Like one of those great Hollywood producers, Konrad knew how to gather the right people and...
Arts Director
I didn't know Richard Martin well, but then I suspect not well is exactly the way he preferred being known. My first inkling of this came in 1884, when (on John Yau's recommendation) Richard gave me the go-ahead to write my first piece of criticism...
A Thousand Words
Sharon Lockhart TALKS ABOUT TEATRO AMAZONAS In both its production and its reception, Teatro Amazonas is actually one big experiment. Although I cast the audience and asked them to appear in a film, I didn't tell them how to dress or where to sit...
Barbara Kruger
MUSEUM OF CONTEMPORARY ART, LOS ANGELES The problem with mounting a retrospective of Barbara Kruger's art is that "art" gets misleadingly emphasized. That artist is now just one of several occupations notched on Kruger's resume--graphic designer...
Carroll Dunham
METRO PICTURES When critics talk about Carroll Dunham, the artist they usually mention next is Philip Guston, who, in his late style, also employed crude figuration and garish colors. But if critics invoke Guston to signal a precedent shift from...
Ceal Floyer
CASEY KAPLAN Ceal Floyer's work sits on a cusp between Minimalism and Conceptualism. This is a vexed spot where literality and truth to form, pushed to their logical and rhetorical conclusions, metamorphose into something else-neither object nor...
Christian Jankowski
KOLNISCHER UNSTVEREIN / SCHNITT AUSSTELLUNGSRAUM Christian Jankowskj came to international attention with his innovative, intelligent, and funny video installation Telemstica, 1999, at the last Venice Biennale. But until now, there has been little...
Cildo Meireles
NEW MUSEUM OF CONTEMPORARY ART, NEW YORK Conceptual art is often associated with a dematerialization of the art object, but, contrary to myth, few of its practitioners sought to eschew materiality altogether. In fact, most engaged in what might...
Common Places
WE CAN ARGUE OVER WHETHER OR NOT Frederick Wiseman is the most gifted documentary filmmaker America has ever produced, but he is surely the most obsessive. He began his career in 1967, abandoning his law practice to chronicle the treatment of inmates...
Cotton Tale
Ismail Merchant, James Ivory, and Ruth Prawer Jhabvala forged a producer-director-writer team that began exploring the clash of cultures about two decades before it became fashionable. With India as the arena and the Raj as context, the piquancy of...
Elliott Puckette
PAUL KASMIN GALLERY The word "decorative" has carried a pejorative connotation in criticism ever since Clement Greenberg. What makes Elliott Puckette's paintings interesting is that, rather than integrate the decorative in a larger expressive purpose,...
Emma Tapley
FISCHBACH GALLERY Beyond their scale and genre, Emma Tapley's small, realist landscape paintings, all but two of the fifteen on view from 1999, have little more in common than their surface quality, which is of an almost perfect smoothness and even...
Eran Schaerf
ZWINGER GALERIE Eran Schaerf's works function by overlapping different modes of production. Schaerf, who was born in Tel Aviv but lives in Brussels and Berlin, is a media artist in the most literal sense of the word. He is concerned with how situations...
Fitting Tribute
BEFORE RICHARD MARTIN, exhibitions devoted to fashion tended to be characterized by dull anti-quarianism or superficial glitz. By treating the way we dress as a living art, Richard changed everything. In scores of exhibitions and books and more than...
Gary Hume
WHITECHAPEL ART GALLERY Gary Hume appears to have entered his Midsummer Night's Dream period. His recent paintings conjure up a world of enchanted woods haunted by evanescent spirits, where nothing is quite what it seems. His principal subjects...
Hub Crawl
WITH BIENNALES SPREADING EVERYWHERE can the concept and practice of the biennial be revitalized? Can the aura that evidently still attaches to the term be "borrowed" for what is unashamedly an artist-initiated project? The London-based Filipino artist...
Jacques Charlier
CASINO - LUXEMBOURG "The ever-shifting course of an extraordinary artist," proclaims Jacques Charlier ironically on the cover of a magazine, a parody of Paris Match, which serves as his catalogue on the occasion of the "recap" (the artist doesn't...
James Coleman
FUNDACIO ANTONI TAPIES This exquisite show is essentially a mini-retrospective of the Irish artist James Coleman's work. Three of the nine pieces on display are from the early '70s, when Coleman was still working primarily with silent 16 mm black-and-white...
Jan Lauwers and Need Company
BROOKLYN ACADEMY OF MUSIC Morning Song, a 100-minute work directed by Jan Lauwers for his multilingual troupe Needcompany, is a pristine theatrical depiction of the present tense. His aesthetic of "now," however, does not contain a single reference...
Jim Torok
BILL MAYNES GALLERY In a 1970 interview, Chuck Close affirmed a statement made by art historian Ernst Gombrich: "The problem of illusionist art is not that of forgetting what we know about the world. It is rather inventing compositions that work."...
Kori Newkirk
ROSAMUND FELSEN GALLERY Looking at Kori Newkirk's show, "Midnight Son," two things kept bouncing around in my head: John Ashbery saying (I'm paraphrasing) that art shouldn't be confused with the Salvation Army and Richard Prince's essay "Bringing...
Letters
THAT'S ALS, FOLKS To the Editor: After my complete dismay and sadness from reading the October 1999 Artforum article "Frank Appraisal," I would like to share a few thoughts. Hilton Als's "slant" is an outrageous, libelous diatribe! The exhibition...
Lily Van der Stokker
FEATURE, INC. It had to happen: As boomers rack up the birthdays, old age becomes a hot topic. A few months back, the New York Times announced: MODELS, DEFIANTLY GRAY, GIVE AGING A SEXY NEW LOOK. At around the same time, Lily van der Stokker (born...
Linda Stark
ANGLES GALLERY With four of her largest paintings to date (each measuring roughly two by two feet and all from 1999), Linda Stark continues building up surfaces with puddles, drips, and layered coats of fluid oil paint--a process she augments with...
Lucio Fontana
HAYWARD GALLERY LONDON Retrospectives have an unfortunate tendency to diminish a renowned artist's work. Indeed, their very inclusiveness tends to cut a figure down: What you once thought of as single-minded purpose comes across as mere habit; what...
Marie Jose Burki
ATELIERS D'ARTISTES Most of the previous video works I'd seen by Marie Jose Burki were about suspense, stasis, waiting: for instance, the monumentally scaled projections of Exposure: Dawn, 1997, which turned the gallery walls into windows through...
Marilou Levin
SILVERSTEIN GALLERY Is it possible to redo Surrealism after feminism? And if so, is it worth the doing? Marilou Levin, a young Israeli artist having her first major international exposure with a selection of works dating from 1995 to the present,...
Martin Creed
The art of Martin Creed sits lightly in the world. Sometimes it's barely there at all. Many of the carefully chosen individuals who were mailed Creed's limitless multiple Work No. 88: a sheet of A4 paper crumpled into a ball, 1994, found that, in spite...
Michelangelo Pistoletto
MUSEUM OF MODERN ART OXFORD/HENRY MOORE FOUNDATION STUDIO, HALIFAX, UK Did arte povera really exist? So asked critic and curator Dan Cameron in a bold 1992 article. Was it a bona fide, intellectually and aesthetically cogent "movement" (whatever...
Modern Start
THERE WERE A HANDFUL of small surprises wrapped inside the recent announcement that Gary Garrels, the forty-eight-year-old Elise S. Haas Chief Curator of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, had been named chief curator in the department of drawings...
Monica Bonvicini
GALLERIA EMI FONTANA A square in the form of a bed is not the same as a bed in the form of a square. It is the first of these two possibilities that Monica Bonvicini has realized in BEDTIMESQUARE, 1999. The young artist (Venetian by birth but...
Naum Gabo Pacewildenstein
In his "Realistic Manifesto" of 1920 (cosigned by his brother Antoine Pevsner), Naum Gabo declared, "We do not measure our works with the yardstick of beauty, we do not weigh them with pounds of tenderness and sentiments." But the works on view in...
New Masters
Prediction being a fool's game, the National Gallery is hardly the only major museum to mark the new millennium by looking to the past. Nor, In a year of seemingly compulsory celebratory blockbusters, is it the only institution to fall back on its...
Norbert Brunner/michael Schuster
STEIRISCHER HERBST 99 Conceptual photographer Michael Schuster and poet Norbert Brunner executed the project Dokumentarische Dialektstudie (Documentary dialect study) in 1979. In 1999, adhering to exactly the same specifications, the project was...
Nuno De Campos
CLIFFORD SMITH GALLERY For his first exhibition in the United States, Nuno de Campos presented five intimately scaled tempera paintings (all titled Lap, 1999), each of which pictures the same seated woman from just above her breasts to slightly...
Perfect Unlikeness
IN APRIL 1966, the Jewish Museum in New York presented what turned out to be the major show of that year. It was called "Primary Structures," which was yet another term for "minimalism." Donald Judd, whose work was in the show, was appalled by the...
Peter Doig
GAVIN BROWN'S ENTERPRISE Peter Doig has been lauded for his quietly mysterious, gauzily nostalgic landscapes executed in an eclectic range of styles, sometimes within a single work. Bringing to mind rigorous types like Gerhard Richter and Jeff Wall,...
Piss Eloquent
It is not polite to speak of the crotch of the question. ERIK SATIE YOU ARE PUSHED UP CLOSE AND TIGHT AGAINST THIS BODY, a man's body, held by a camera that clings to its object like a pair of too-small trousers to the skin beneath them. You...
Radcliffe Bailey
JACK SHAINMAN GALLERY There is a polyphonic aspect to Radcliffe Bailey's work that results at least in part from the role of music in his life. I felt this effect immediately on encountering his latest series of painted wood panels (each almost...
"Retrace Your Steps: Remember Tomorrow"
SIR JOHN SOANE'S MUSEUM Sir John Soane's regular guests share a deep affection for their long-dead host and become protective, even proprietary, about his remarkable home. Architectural historian William J.R. Curtis writes of each return visit as...
Rob Pruitt
1 POLAND SPRING WATER (20 OZ. BOTTLE, $1) The consumer culture that polluted the planet has created an antidote by branding nature. As Coke/Pepsi was to the Pop '60s generation, bottled water is the lifestyle beverage of the present. A fashion accessory,...
Sum and the Parts
IT'S BEEN A WHILE SINCE WE'VE BEEN ABLE TO SEE SOL LEWITT WHOLE. His last full retrospective in this country was in 1978, at the Museum of Modern Art. Sure, he's been around: In my home area of Boston alone, we've had an excellent survey of his wall...